The Obama Presidency
President Obama takes the oath of office for his second term (Sonya N. Hebert/Official White House Photo)
Obama's second inaugural address in January 2013 attracted an estimated one million spectators on the National Mall, 800,000 fewer than in 2009, but still comfortably the second largest figure for any President before or since (as of 2017). That sustained enthusiasm reflected his general popularity, but the tone of the President's speech also marked the nation's growing ideological and partisan divide. This address was more unabashedly liberal than his first. Obama gave a full-hearted endorsement to continuing New Deal-Great Society programs of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, which, like his Affordable Care Act, reflected the nation's commitment to the common good. He also declared that America would lead on climate change and rebuked those denying the scientific consensus on global warning. Memorably, Obama used his address to connect the long trajectory of civil rights from the first Women's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848, through the decisive battle for black voting rights in Selma, Alabama, in 1965, to the ongoing struggles for LGBT rights that began with the Stonewall riots in Greenwich Village in 1969. "Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law," he said, "for if we are created equal then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well."